Consistent mid-season snowfalls and great trail preparation has the track for the 29th edition of the Kangaroo Hoppet in perfect condition. Further predicted Falls in the weeks leading into the event will enhance the course condition for the 1,000 anticipated skiers on the 24th of August.
The 2019 Kangaroo Hoppet is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested events for many years. A strong international contingent, supported by an experienced Australian team, will provide a great spectacle for all participants and spectators in the Falls Creek Nordic Bowl on Saturday 24 August.
In the men’s field a trio of Swiss stars including; Olympian and four-time Hoppet champion Valerio Leccardi, marathon specialist Lauro Braendli and World Cup Sprint finalist Fabian Schaad will be looking for a team advantage on the start line. However, competing with the Swiss will also be a trio of Italian Olympic and World Championship athletes including Enrico Nizzi, world junior medallist Giacomo Gabrielli and Italian junior sprint champion, Francois Vierin.
A very strong domestic team will be alongside the internationals with the intent to retain the big prize in Australia. Four-time runner up, and local Falls Creek dual-Olympian, Phil Bellingham will be looking to finally get his name on the trophy after being so close for so many years. However, it might be the rising stars in Mark Pollock and Seve de Campo that can bring it home for the locals.
The women’s event will be equally closely contested with a great mix of local and international athletes showcasing the elite field. Canadian Erin Yungblut and Russian ArinaKalinina both looking great on paper to challenge a strong Australian contingent including Asian Games medallist and Pyeongchang Olympian Casey Wright. Casey is fresh from a four-year stint on the NCAA for Alaska University and will be looking for a big result down under. Perennial favourite, Aimee Watson, will be back for another crack and will draw on her strength if the conditions become tough. Both the women’s and men’s events will be a spectacle to delight everyone
AGL are again supporting our up-and-coming Australian skiers with eight $500 scholarships in the 21km and 7km events that will support winners in age classes progressing through the XC athlete pathways.
In 2019 the Hoppet will host a French film crew for the first time to produce a cultural experiential film on the Hoppet, and the many other attractions that will interest international travellers. This will be the ninth event of the Worldloppet that has been visited to produce a culturally unique summary of the event. Other episodes can be found here www.worldloppet.com/category/video/ski-planet/
Skiing with Kangaroos? Not quite, but close…..! Keep an eye on the Hoppet website after the event to see this exciting production!
The Hoppet is the biggest snow-sports event in the southern hemisphere and with 7km, 21km and the premier 42km event, there is a wonderful experience for skiers of all ages and abilities. More information can be found at www.hoppet.com.au